Bangladesh e-launched an illustrated children's book Transformers dedicated to the stories of 17 young Bangladeshis whose work impacts the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).
Transformers is the product of an over 2-month nationwide search for Bangladesh's most exemplary youth changemakers.
From almost 200 nominations, 17 'transformers' were chosen in late 2019. With three rounds of shortlisting, the book was edited, curated and illustrated by Implementation Partner HerStory Foundation.
In light of the global pandemic, UNDP, Bangladesh has launched the book online, making it free to download for all children.
Transformers features 17 young Bangladeshis whose work is innovative, altruistic, community-focused. It includes the story of Mahmud Hasan Tabib & Rana, also known as the rap duo Gully Boy, whose lyrics address the pressing issue of poverty, Ikram Uddin Abir, founder of Procheshta Food Bank which distributes leftover meals to the needy, Kamruzzaman Shadhin, an artist that created a dolphin-conservation boat, and Farhana Rashid or 'Toilet Apa' an architect who installs women's public toilets for women in Bangladesh, among more fascinating stories.
The book is meant to nurture quality reading habits through the stories of homegrown, Bangladeshi role models as now, more than ever, children need stories of encouragement and hope.
The launch campaign also involves a reading challenge, where readers are asked to complete an online quiz, with the correct answers awarded a hard copy of the book once delivery restrictions are eased. The quiz is open for any and all children.
Joining the virtual launch, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, said, "The Transformers e-book can potentially help turn a distressing time for both parents and children, into an opportunity for young readers to learn and engage in meaningful activities, such as reading. In this time of extended stay at home, I hope the magic of these stories will inspire the readers to cultivate their own dreams into reality."
"During these challenging times, we need to find constructive ways to keep children engaged. The Transformers e-book will not only encourage reading, but will also inspire children to aspire for greater heights, and find hope and joy in the heroic stories of Bangladeshi youth, especially at a time like this when they need it most," Zareen Mahmud Hosein, founder and ED of HerStory Foundation, shared.
The book can be downloaded in both Bangla and English for free, while the quiz is open to children from all schools. Log on to UNDP Bangladesh's page for more information.